By Don Givens
Jesus gave complete and unreserved endorsement to the old covenant Scriptures (Matt. 5:17,18; John 10:35) and said that He did not come to destroy, deny or fight against them, but to fulfil them. Our Lord quoted extensively from the old Testament and referred to its people and stories as historical fact.
Jesus upheld the validity of the law in its completeness, and He claimed that the three parts of the former Scriptures prophesied of Him: “the law, the prophets, and the psalms” (Luke 24:44). Our Lord obeyed the law of God under which the Jews lived at that time. He was willingly obedient to parental (Luke 2:51), civil (Matt. 22:21) and religious law (John 8:29). In all of His conversations and activities, Jesus’ constant appeal was to the Scriptures.
In defeating the tempter, Jesus wielded the Word of God (Matt. 4: 1-11) by emphatically stating “it is written.” Our Lord used the Scriptures to rebuke wrong-doing (Matt. 21:12, 13) and He exposed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and their human traditions which made void the Scriptures. The Master Teacher clearly pointed out that the source of error was ignorance of the Scriptures (Matt. 22:29) and He quoted Scripture to silence objectors (Matt. 22:41-45).
Are we like Jesus in our attitude toward the Scriptures? Do we have this appreciation and respect for the sacred writings? How unlike Jesus is the person today who may boast of having “the spirit of Christ” but who at the same time is trampling underfoot the law of God! (Luke 6:46)
God’s only begotten Son loved, trusted, quoted, and believed wholeheartedly the Scriptures even exclaiming 41scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Dare our attitude be less? Does one today “mouth love . . . and disregard law”? Does one turn “grace” into an excuse to sin? Does one “bend the law” to conform to his own way? If so, he has none of the genuine “spirit of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:2-4; Gal. 5:13-15).
The theme of Jesus’ life was humble obedience to the will of the Father (Heb. 5:8,9). Is that our desire and passion? The grand design of the gospel is to make us more like Jesus every day; to follow His example, to imitate His character, and to be “changed into that same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).
The question of eternal significance is not: “Do I have a good attitude toward myself?” but rather: “Do I have a good and proper attitude toward God’s inspired Word?”
Guardian of Truth XXX: 8, p. 231
April 17, 1986